How is the IDP different from myProgress, the Progress Tracking Form and the Letter of Understanding?

myProgress is an online platform that allows the students and the department to monitor completion of major milestones, including the Progress Tracking Form and the Letter of Understanding, towards degree completion.

The annual Graduate Student Research Progress Tracking form is one of the specific milestones listed in myProgress for all doctoral students -who are required to submit this form on an annual basis. The Progress Tracking form is shared with supervisors because the aim is to ensure that the research expectations between the student and the supervisor are transparent, clearly articulated, and agreed upon. The Progress Tracking form can overlap with an IDP but is not actually the same. The Progress Tracking form is intended to help students to work with their supervisor to establish and agree upon research objectives that both parties agree to. As such, it will not likely include other kinds of goals (e.g. professional skills development, career planning, personal wellbeing) that we know are important for students’ success. The IDP is a personal document that students complete independently because it is understood that students may not need or want to share personal and professional goals with their supervisor or department.

The Letter of Understanding is another important milestone listed in myProgress for all doctoral students. It establishes the mutual expectations between a PhD student and their supervisor to check that you both share the same understanding of what you are each expected to do. The IDP can help you prepare for this conversation: when your goals are clear, it is much easier to ask for specific help reaching them.

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